Aug 31, 2010  •  In Baby, Comang, Personal

Our First (Clingy) Child

Lately I have been getting more and more concerned about how Comang will react to the baby.

When his previous owners brought their baby home, they told me that Comang didn’t really pay attention…if anything, he seemed to be oblivious to the new strange creature that inhabited his space.

However, I spend a lot more time with Comang than his previous owners did, and as a result he has become very attached to me. This is something that our vet noticed within just five minutes of meeting us — he pointed out that when Comang is nervous or frightened, he has the tendency to hide behind me, or try to jump into my arms.

I have no worries that Comang will be hostile to the baby. He is one of the most gentle and docile dogs I have ever come across, and he’s always played the submissive role when meeting new people. What I do fear is that Comang will react negatively to the baby being given more attention than him by becoming depressed.

I have been doing a lot of reading on how to introduce a new baby to your dog. Some of the strategies we plan to use include:

  • After the nursery is set up, let Comang explore the new sleeping and changing areas. Allow him to sniff all the baby products we will be using. Do not let him climb on the furniture.
  • Have J or a relative bring home something that smells like the baby before we are discharged from the hospital. Let Comang sniff it and get used to the new scent.
  • When we first come home from the hospital, I should come through the door first (with J waiting in the hallway with the baby) and allow Comang to greet me, and get the initial excitement out of the way. Then I will step out and watch the baby in the hallway while J does the same. THEN J will meet us back outside, and the three of us will enter together.

While all these are good advice, none of them address my concerns about Comang possibly becoming depressed after “losing” his mommy. I have been encouraging J to spend more time with him, but Comang still prefers me to him. I read that I should get a doll or a stuffed animal, swaddle it, hold it, and act as if I am actually taking care of the baby, but I would feel pretty silly doing so.

I have also been told that I should slowly start spending less time with him. But knowing that such a drastic change is upon him, I’m having a hard time doing so. I want to spend as much time possible with him, just us two, before the baby comes!

I also have a feeling that Comang knows that a big change is coming. He has been acting extra clingy and has taken to sniffing my ever-expanding belly.

Do any of my readers have any advice? What have you done to acclimate your pet to a new addition to the family?

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5 Responses to “Our First (Clingy) Child”

  1. Christine says:

    Good luck with getting Comang adjusted. My baby isn't due until Christmas, but unfortunately, Mason, my "pound puppy", is overly attached to me and theHubs. It's almost as if he knew and could sense the change coming. Since we adopted him from the shelter, he has never torn the house apart. He's always been on his best behavior. When we put together the baby stroller and various things for the baby, Mason immediately began acting out. He chewed our furniture, clothes, shoes, etc. He even chewed the stroller wheels!! Admittedly, we got so caught up in doing things for the baby's space that we weren't constantly holding or petting Mason. Once he went on this horrible tear, we immediately started trying to balance things. We let him around the space where the baby will be, but not for long. We have a fake baby doll that cries so he will get used to the sound of crying vs. being alarmed by the crying in the middle of the night and barking.

    Whatever you do, good luck. It seems like Comang will transition to your baby a lot easier than Mason will.

  2. Amanda says:

    You're being such a good dog mama. I'm definitely interested in seeing how Comang adjusts. My SIL's cat actually did so much better than we thought she would — she's super clingy, nervous, and scared of everything. But the arrival of my niece actually made her more bold and calm. Go figure, huh?

  3. Emily says:

    My friend has a VERY clingy dog she adopted from a rescue group. VERY. She screams bloody murder if my friend just walks in the other room. What her vet recommended before she had her baby, was for the dog to stay with her mom for a week or two, and then come back home after the baby is home. This way, the dog sees it as she is the intruder, not the baby–that she is coming into the baby's life, not the baby is intruding on her life and her family. The baby is there first, in the dog's mind. She also had the doll that cried and would allow the dog to sniff all the baby stuff. It worked for them! She's been pleasantly surprised at how well the dog has handled it all

  4. mina says:

    that's wonderful that you are being so considerate and thoughtful about making sure that comang adjusts to the upcoming change. sounds like there are a lot of methods and suggestions out there. most importantly, i think your attitude and love for comang will help ease the transition into one big happy family unit!

  5. I'm not pregnant, but I worry about this with our dog and future baby! She is already a little skittish when my stepkids are with us on the weekends, and they're 8 & 10! I wonder about a baby…

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